Amaranth Greens Crackers are something that addictive to snack on.  Yunita Rahmasari or known as Tata of Bonita’s Cooking & Bento Wonderland will present a recipe on how to make Keripik Bayam (Indonesian Amaranth Greens Crackers.  She is a talented bentoist who share the same passion with me, Indonesian cooking. She is a full time university lecturer but she still finds a time to do what she loves to do. She is always amazed me with her bento creations. Tata and I have a great deal of good conversation about Malang, the second largest city in East Java province where she lives right now. Malang has a special memory for me, a place where I spent lots time with my extended family and where my late mom went for university and finally met my late dad for the first time and dating.

Please join me to welcome Tata with her beautiful Amaranth Greens Crackers (Keripik Bayam). Thanks, Ta!

I had to hold my hung jaw when I read a PM from mbak Pepy asking me to write a guest post on her lovely and insightful food blog. To make sure that I was not dreaming, I needed to pinch my hand and I found out that I was not dreaming at that time. I felt so honored and my heart was overwhelmed with happiness, thanks a lot mbak Pepy for the chance! :D.  I started blogging when I was still an undergraduate, and Indonesia Eats (formerly known as The Art and Science of Food) is one of Indonesian food blogs that I love to visit.  Besides her awesome photography, I’m keen on reading mbak Pepy’s insightful posts and educating myself with the stories and information behind the foods she has been posted. Though I’m living in Indonesia for my whole life, I realize that there are so many things about cooking that I still need to learn more ^^.

At first I was confused about what to post, I scratched my head whether I had to post bento or Indonesian food. And yes, of course I had to post something Indonesian :). Since I was enjoying deep fried coated tempeh when I read Mbak Pepy’s message, “Traditional Deep Fried Snack” was the idea that popped up in mind.  Deep fried snack with flour batter coat is one of Indonesian common traditional snack styles.  It can be easily found at many morning traditional markets and street snack stalls especially in the evening.  The ingredients that we love to coat with flour batter then deep fry are numerous, but the common ones are banana, tempeh, tofu, cassava, sweet potato, oyster mushroom, and tapé (fermented cassava).  For the deep fried snacks whose main ingredients are tempeh, tofu, or veggies, we (the Eastern Javanese) love to enjoy them with green bird eye chilies and sambal petis (sambal shrimp paste). For this guest post, I come across with Keripik Bayam (Amaranth Greens Crackers) that I made when I was home about a month ago. Many Indonesians often misuse the word “spinach” to refer Amaranth Greens. For Indonesians, their “Spinach” is actually “Amaranth Greens”.

Keripik Bayam is one of my family’s favorite homemade snacks.  This homemade snackie would be perfect to company us while we’re watching TV (especially soccer match) or could be a side dish.  To tell you the truth, Indonesians love to eat with crackers for everything, rice, noodle.  My grandma plants some kinds of vegetable, herb, and spice for daily home cooking needs in our backyard.  Our backyard is just like our treasure site; everytime we need some fresh herbs or spices, we just need to take them from there.  There is  no exception for these Amaranth Greens that I used here.  We love to make Amaranth Greens Crackers since the ingredients are always available in our kitchen.  I used limestone water to promote crispy texture in Indonesian traditional crackers (keripik).  To maintain the crispiness, we can keep the crackers in an airtight container. But in my family case, the amaranth crackers would be quickly grabbed and disappeared before I could put them into the container T_____T

Indonesian Amaranth Greens Crackers
– Keripik Bayam –

A handful of Amaranth Greens Leaves
150 grams (5.3 oz.) rice flour
300 milliliter (1 1/4 cup) thin coconut milk (a mix thick coconut milk with water)
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon limestone water
500 milliliter (2 cups) cooking oil

Spice to grind:
3 cloves of garlic
6 candlenuts
1 teaspoon coriander
1 – 1.5 cm (1.4- 0.6 inch) long turmeric roots, peeled
1 teaspoon salt

1.  Rinse well green amaranth leaves and drain.

2.  Combine rice flour, coconut milk, beaten egg, limestone water, and ground spice.

3.  Prepare a work, pot or deep fryer with plenty cooking oil.  Heat up to over medium.  Dip every single amaranth leaf to the batter.  Then, transfer to heated oil.  While frying the crackers, don’t forget to stir up the batter once or twice since the rice flour will settle down on the bottom part of mixing bowl.

4.  Fry the batter is golden brown and there are no bubbles out from the leaf.  Drain the crackers  on a tray lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.

5.  Cool down and then put the crackers into an airtight container to keep the crispiness.

Notes from Indonesia Eats:
* Mbak is a Javanese term to address for an older sister, commonly applied to non-relatives as well. Indonesians never call somebody by name unless they are younger.
* Indonesians love to use fresh turmeric roots instead of dry or powder forms
* In Winnipeg, a package limestone water is available to be bought at Lucky supermarket, Young’s market and Dong Thai.
* Beside using a paper towel to absorb oil as Tata’s explained, there is another way. a brown paper bag has a better choice as this absorbs oil really good but not making the food soggy.
* For those who live in North America, Amaranth Greens are often found as a weed. People remove them from their garden or yard.  But for us, the Southeast Asians, Amaranth Greens are healthy vegetable that pack with iron.



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